GEB 6895: Integrated Business Applications


Finding information about companies -- especially private or small companies -- can be difficult. There is no, one source that can answer every question. Instead, it will require the use of both Internet sources and library databases. The steps on this page can help you get started with your research by suggesting some basic databases you can use to located information about your company/business and its business environment. You can then use the resources on the following pages to continue your research.

Let's get started.

Finding a Client


If you are still deciding on the industry sector in which you want your client to operate, it is recommended that you identify the NAICS code.

The U.S. Government uses the NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) Code to collect and distribute information about industries.

Use one of the publicly available search sites to search by industry, for example, 'boat manufacturing'.

Alternatives to NAICS Codes

It can sometimes be difficult to find the appropriate NAICS code(s) for a specific sector, especially for companies that operate within multiple industry sectors or specialize in niche or emerging areas.

Another useful strategy is to use advanced Google searching to find trade associations and trade show sites. These sites are valuable resources as they are often relevant to the industry sector you are researching. They typically provide company names and contact information, making them a great place to start your search. Membership directories and exhibitor lists on these sites can be particularly helpful in identifying potential companies.

Advanced Google search examples for finding trade associations or organizations: boat building trade association boat building trade organization

Trade Show Listing Sites (external links)

* The following is not a complete list but rather an example of these types of sites.


10times -

2Exhibitions -

Centre for Management Technology (CMT) -

Global Sources Trade Show -

Events in America -

Worldwide Business Research -

International Data Group Events -

Trade Shows News Network -


Trade Associations (external links)

* The following is not a complete list but rather an example of these types of sites.

Use Company Directories to find more information

The following databases can provide more information about a company and industry. You can search by NAICS codes, keywords, company names, and more.

Use market research databases to find information about the industry

You can use one of the library's marketing databases (and the NAICS code) to find comprehensive information about an industry. Here are some suggestions:

Research and access articles in local news sources

Use these tools to find information about your company and the local business environment in local news sources.

Look up articles in trade magazines and journals

Use the library's databases to look up articles and industry news in trade publications. Whether it's Ratchet+Wrench for auto repair or Supermarket News for grocery stores, these publications can help you collect current information about the state of the business. Use the NAICS code you found in Step 1 to limit by industry.